DOHA — Days before his controversial tweets sparked an outcry in Egypt; prominent Qatari journalist Ahmed Ali told Egypt Independent in an exclusive interview that as of today, Egypt has failed to produce anything of worth.
In his interview with Egypt Independent, Ali said, “The degree to which a country is civilized is measured by its production and success in the present time and not in the past. Qatar was unanimously selected to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup while a few years before Egypt lost the same bid to host the 2010 World Cup and got zero votes.”
In contrast with Egypt, Ali said from his office at Al Watan newspaper's headquarters in Doha, that Qatar is a country looking forward to the future with its talented leadership.
He was referring to one of Egypt's most flawed international appearances, when Egypt, in the bid for the FIFA World Cup 2010 that was to be held in an African country — failed to garner a single vote from the 24 members of FIFA's Executive Committee.
Egypt's “zero vote” has become a common phrase in addressing the failure of former President Hosni Mubarak to maintain Egypt's political and cultural weight in the international arena.
Ali highlighted some of the differences between Egypt and Qatar. He said that unlike Egyptians, Qataris don't want revolution or democracy.
“Why did you Egyptians go to Tahrir? Because of political repression and differences between social classes? Why should we oppose the prince? A citizen who decides to get married receives a plot of land to build on and facilitated loans. Students have the right to get educated at the expense of the state overseas at the best universities in the world, and they are eligible for a monthly salary before graduation. This is real luxury.”
“We do not want the democracy of Kuwait, where the politicians commit suicide, nor do we want the democracy of the Spanish and the Greeks which has indebted their nations. We have our own experiment.”
The interview was conducted two days before satirist Bassem Youssef criticized Qatar's increasing role in Egyptian politics, especially its support of President Mohamed Morsy.
However, after the episode in question, Ali published a salvo of angry tweets against Egypt, which caused wide uproar on social media.
"We might be bootlicking to the US as you claim, but we would never allow it to subdue us, as you do in return for its conditional financial aid,” Ali said on his Twitter account on Tuesday before deactivating it.
“America has been your primary backer for decades, and do not forget its annual, conditional, financial aid to you in return for implementing its policies,” he said.
He went on to say, that “what else are you (Egyptians) good at other than making falafel?”
He also criticized what he said was as an Egyptian mantra of having long history without planning for the future. “There are countries that lean on their old civilizations such as bankrupt Greece and economically-deteriorated Egypt. What good did history bring you, history man?”
He also accused Egypt of heavy reliance on imports and failing to establish strong local industry. “You speak about industry while you import everything from abroad, even Ramadan lanterns are imported from China,” he said.
Ali believes Egyptians are stuck in their past and decline to think of their future. "You have a past complex, Nefertiti," he said sarcastically.
Egyptians are also disloyal to their leaders and fight each other for power in a time when their country is economically devastated, according to the Qatari journalist.
“When we address our leaders saying ‘may you live for long’, that’s because we are loyal to them,” he said. “We wouldn’t do to them what you did to King Farouq, Sadat, Mubarak, and recently, Morsy.”